Report: Wigan Athletic 1 Rovers 1
Rovers and Wigan had to settled for a share of the spoils in a feisty encounter on Saturday.
Games between the two sides are rarely without their controversy and it was the case once more at the DW Stadium.
Rovers lead at the break thanks to a first goal of the season from Corry Evans. The Northern Ireland international blasting home from 20-yards after a corner was half cleared.
The home side should have gone in at the break a man down after James McClean somehow escaped a straight red card following a high and late challenge on Markus Olsson.
The decision from referee Michael Jones to only show the Wigan man a yellow proved costly for Rovers when he headed the Latics back on level terms just past the hour mark.
Keenly contested but little quality, Rovers had the chances to get back in front.
Jordan Rhodes saw a shot kept out after substitute Josh King had been denied by Scott Carson, before Jason Lowe saw a goal-bound header cleared off the line by Mahoney.
Rovers will be pleased to have claimed a point on their travels but it really should have been all three.
Ahead of the game Gary Bowyer made five changes from the side that lost 1-0 at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers last time out.
Jason Lowe, Matt Kilgallon, Corry Evans, Craig Conway and Chris Brown all came into the starting eleven. Alex Baptiste, Lee Williamson, Chris Taylor and Shane Duffy dropped to the bench, whilst Rudy Gestede didn't travel to the DW Stadium.
The hosts made three changes with Martyn Waghorn, Ben Watson and William Kvist all starting following their defeat at Birmingham City last week.
The five changes saw a defensive reshuffle with Kilgallon slotting alongside Grant Hanley in the centre, with Ben Marshall at right back, and it was Marshall who was caught in possession just three minutes in by Chris McCann, Martyn Waghorn centre found Adam Forshaw but Jason Steele saved well.
Despite that early chance for the home side it was Rovers who quickly gained control of the game and took the lead after 15 minutes.
A Conway corner from the left was only punched as far as the edge of the box by Scott Carson, Tom Cairney shaped to shoot but instead slipped it to his left to where Corry Evans planted a sumptous 20-yard shot beyond the Wigan keeper and into the back of the net.
It was just the Northern Ireland international's second goal in Rovers colours. His first of the campaign.
Sensing frailty at the back Rovers looked to double advantage from a series of corners, Jordan Rhodes going close with a shot that deflected over the bar.
On a sticky pitch chances were limited, but Rovers were composed in possession, keeping the ball well away from their area.
On the rare occasion that the home side threatened the recalled Kilgallon was there in the right place, first to block a Waghorn shot, before shackling McClean well after the Latics hit Rovers on the break.
Just before half-time a quick forward ball from Marshall saw Tom Cairney thread it through to Rhodes, but despite taking his shot early, Carson was down quickly to save his right-footed strike.
The first half ended on a controversial note as McClean flew high and late into a challenge on Markus Olsson. The Wigan man lucky to escape with just a yellow card, whilst Rovers captain Grant Hanley was also booked for his involvement in the resulting fracas.
Latics boss Malky Mackay made a change at the resumption of play as Shaun Maloney replaced Adam Forshaw, but it was goalkeeper Scott Carson who was kept busy in the opening exchanges in the second half.
An early Craig Conway had to be punched clear under pressure, before a Marshall long throw saw the Wigan keeper thwart Kilgallon after Rhodes' effort had been blocked.
At the other end McClean had the home side's best chance, but he somehow put a clear header wide of goal on 52 minutes.
But ten minutes later the controversial forward made amends, ghosting into the area to meet Maloney's free-kick to head Wigan level.
Josh King was immediately thrown on, replacing the hardworking Chris Brown and almost immediately he was in the thick of the action.
After getting the better of Liam Ridgewell the Norwegian raced through only to see his shot saved by Carson. The ball ran to Rhodes but inexplicably he saw his effort from six yards headed somehow cleared off the line by Leon Barnett.
As the minutes ticked by the game became stretched with King looking to take advantage. After showing good pace the forward looked to break through but his left-footed shot was deflected behind by James Perch.
From the resulting corner came yet another gilt-edge chance. Conway's outswinger was met by the head of Jason Lowe but Maloney cleared off the line.
Rovers pushed to the death but as a deep cross headed towards the back post, neither King nor fellow sub Alex Baptiste could get a meaningful connection, to consign the match to end all square.
WIGAN: Carson, Perch (c), Barnett, Ridgewell, Taylor, Watson (sub Huws 55 mins), Forshaw (sub Maloney 46 mins), McCann, Kvist, Waghorn (sub Delort 72 mins), McClean.
Subs not used: Nicholls (GK), Boyce, Fortune, Cosgrove.
Goals: McClean 63 mins.
Booked: McClean, Waghorn, Perch.
ROVERS: Steele, Marshall, Hanley (c), Kilgallon, Olsson (sub Baptiste 85 mins), Cairney (sub Dunn 85 mins), Lowe, Evans, Conway, Rhodes, Brown (sub King 68 mins).
Subs not used: Eastwood (GK), Williamson, Taylor, Duffy.
Goals: Evans 15 mins.
Booked: Hanley, Marshall, Evans, Kilgallon.
Attendance: 14,652 (including 3,487 Rovers fans).